LAFAYETTE, Louisiana – Andrew Crane went eight strong on the mound and Sadler Goodwin drove in six runs as Troy dominated the Ragin’ Cajuns, 10-1, in its second game of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Thursday night at Russo Park.
Despite not starting the game until 10:51 p.m., Crane (7-4) pitched like it was primetime – fanning 10 and giving up only one run on four hits in eight innings on the mound. The last time Crane pitched at Russo Park, he earned a complete-game win back on March 23.
Goodwin launched the first homer of his career – a grand slam to cap a five-run eighth inning for the Trojans (40-18). The junior had already driven in two runs on a two-out triple in the top of the fifth – his second two-RBI triple of the tournament.
Eight of Troy’s nine starters recorded at least one hit in the game and four batters turned in multi-hit performances at the plate – led by Brandon Lockridge’s 3-for-6 night that included an RBI and a run scored.
Jackson Cofer picked up right where Crane left off and struck out the side in order to finish off the Cajuns (34-24) in the ninth – securing Troy’s first 40-win season in five years.
Following a 19-16 win over Little Rock in a continuation game this morning, Louisiana was unable to carry over the offensive momentum – mustering just four hits in the game. Starter Hogan Harris (5-2) was saddled with the loss after allowing four runs on six hits in five innings.
Quotable – Troy head coach Mark Smartt
“I’m certainly proud of the win. It was convincing and we broke it open late. Andrew Crane was the story of the game, he was really good again. When we got the three runs in the fifth, he turned his competition level way up. Our offense was good; Sadler Goodwin had a great night with the two-out triple and the two-out grand slam to really put the game away. We’ve put ourselves in a good position, but we haven’t accomplished anything yet so we’re going to keep working.”
• In two outings against Louisiana at Russo Park this season, Andrew Crane pitched 17 innings with just three runs allowed on only nine hits with 15 strikeouts.
• Sadler Goodwin’s six RBIs are tied for the most by a Trojan this season and his grand slam was Troy’s second this year. Joey Denison drove in six against Tennessee Tech and Rigsby Mosley hit a grand slam against UTA.
• Troy now has two wins in the conference tournament for the first time since 2012. Meanwhile, the 10-run outburst was the most in a tournament game since 2010.
• Sun Belt Player of the Year Joey Denison extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a ninth-inning, RBI double. He brought home Matt Sanders – who leads the country with 81 runs scored this season.
Troy will now play the waiting game, as the Trojans will face the winner of the Louisiana/Texas State elimination game at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.